House expects record-high attendance in this year’s SONA

HOUSE Secretary General Reginald Velasco, in a press briefing on Tuesday, said attendance to this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) could be the biggest, based on the overwhelming confirmation they received from the invited guests.

“We may be opening some viewing rooms for the additional guests kasi overwhelming yung nag-confirm na pupunta sila dito (sa House) sa SONA. So far, we have received confirmation from over 2,000 guests, including House members and members of the Senate who will be joining the Joint Session to hear the SONA of the President,” Velasco said. 

He said there are House members who have wished to tag along as many as 10 or even 20 guests with them to the SONA, which include their mayors, vice mayors, relatives and local leaders in their districts or provinces. 

“Ang rule kasi namin, House member plus one usually ung asawa nila except for some. Yung iba kasi may kasamang governor or relative na high-ranking official. We give them the courtesy,” he said. 

He said the plenary hall has 1,312 seats. Because of additional guests, he said 502 monobloc chairs will be added, bringing the total number of seats at the plenary hall to 1,814.

“We’re trying to have additional chairs doon kahit sa second and third galleries. Maglalagay kami ng additional monobloc doon just to accommodate these numerous requests coming from House members and other agencies,” Velasco said.

As a supplementary measure, Velasco said the House is considering opening additional viewing rooms in the Batasan Complex for those who cannot be accommodated at the plenary hall. 

He said the Romualdez Hall will serve as a viewing room for more guests, from 200 last year to 300 this year, mostly seniors, PWDs and persons with medical conditions.

He said more people wish to attend the SONA because they really want to hear the President’s speech or they want to be involved in state affairs. “Being invited to SONA is an honor,” he said.

Velasco said they have already been notified by former Vice Presidents Leni Robredo and Jejomar Binay that they cannot make it to this year’s SONA. He added that he is still waiting for confirmation from Vice President Sara Duterte.

“We are inviting all these former Presidents, former Vice Presidents, former Senate Presidents, former Speakers. And so far, we have not received confirmation from former President Duterte. We have much leeway doon sa mga VIPs. They can confirm or cancel at the last minute. That’s the privilege of the VIP guests.  We cannot impose any deadline on the VIPs,” he said.

He said 47 ambassadors have confirmed their attendance, including China and the United States. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs is the one coordinating with members of the diplomatic corps. He also reported that all the heads of constitutional commissions have confirmed attendance, such as the Commission on Elections and Commission on Audit.

SONA preparations shall be finalized at the fourth and final inter-agency coordination meeting on Monday (July 15) with a walk-through at the House of Representatives, which will cover the plenary hall, possibly the back entrance where the President will come in when he arrives at the House, as well as north and south lobbies where the lawmakers will pass through. 

“We’re almost there. We will have our final inter-agency meeting on Monday,” Velasco said.

He added that the Presidential Security Command with the help of the House Sergeant at Arms and the Senate Sergeant at Arms are all collaborating to ensure the security not only of the President but all guests. 

Velasco said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has earlier given instructions to accommodate all the guests. 

As for Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, his directive to Velasco was to take care of House members, senators and all the guests, which means everything they need should be provided like security, comfort and smooth conduct of the SONA. 

President Marcos Jr. will deliver his third SONA on July 22.

  • Related Posts

    Marcos administers oath of newly DepEd Secretary Angara

    PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. administered the oath of newly appointed Education Secretary Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Friday evening, officially welcoming him to his Cabinet. “Welcome to the Cabinet,”…

    PBBM respects VP’s decision not to serve another Cabinet post

    PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. respects the decision of Vice President Sara Duterte not to serve another Cabinet post after she resigned as secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).…

    You Missed

    Marcos administers oath of newly DepEd Secretary Angara

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 1 views
    Marcos administers oath of newly DepEd Secretary Angara

    PBBM respects VP’s decision not to serve another Cabinet post

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 3 views
    PBBM respects VP’s decision not to serve another Cabinet post

    PBBM signs new procurement, anti-scam laws

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 6 views
    PBBM signs new procurement, anti-scam laws

    CSP ng Meralco para sa 600 megawatts baseload supply ipinanawagan ni Cayetano na itigil

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 7 views
    CSP ng Meralco para sa 600 megawatts baseload supply ipinanawagan ni Cayetano na itigil

    Romualdez greets Abalos Happy Birthday

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 6 views
    Romualdez greets Abalos Happy Birthday

    Group urges Bulacan Governor to take action vs beauty products banned by FDA

    • By admin
    • July 20, 2024
    • 7 views
    Group urges Bulacan Governor to take action vs beauty products banned by FDA

    Pangasinan residents receives hearing aids, assistive devices from DOH

    • By admin
    • July 19, 2024
    • 55 views
    Pangasinan residents receives hearing aids, assistive devices from DOH

    PNP chief Marbil lauds Serbisyong Bayanihan caravan in PRO Calabarzon

    • By admin
    • July 18, 2024
    • 13 views
    PNP chief Marbil lauds Serbisyong Bayanihan caravan in PRO Calabarzon

    PBBM’s assistance to farmers, fisherfolk to bring down food prices – Speaker

    • By admin
    • July 18, 2024
    • 5 views
    PBBM’s assistance to farmers, fisherfolk to bring down food prices – Speaker

    Hrep completes renovation of facilities ahead of SONA

    • By admin
    • July 18, 2024
    • 7 views
    Hrep completes renovation of facilities ahead of SONA

    House probes POGO-linked crimes

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 4 views
    House probes POGO-linked crimes

    Solon lauds NIA’s solar irrigation project to benefit 4.5K farmers in Bicol region

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 11 views
    Solon lauds NIA’s solar irrigation project to benefit 4.5K farmers in Bicol region

    Aid caravan serves over 16,000 disadvantaged Leytenos, completes coverage of 1st District

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 110 views
    Aid caravan serves over 16,000 disadvantaged Leytenos, completes coverage of 1st District

    Tiangco lauds Marcos admin’s efforts to make affordable rice at 29 per kilo

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 58 views
    Tiangco lauds Marcos admin’s efforts to make affordable rice at 29 per kilo

    DBM, naglabas ng guidelines sa paggamit ng pondo para sa Green Green Green Program

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 102 views
    DBM, naglabas ng guidelines sa paggamit ng pondo para sa Green Green Green Program

    P562-M halaga ng interbensyon, ipinagkaloob ng DA-4A sa Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 108 views
    P562-M halaga ng interbensyon, ipinagkaloob ng DA-4A sa Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair

    DOH donates P31-M worth of anti-dengue supplies to Ilocos LGUs

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 102 views
    DOH donates P31-M worth of anti-dengue supplies to Ilocos LGUs

    House checks preparedness of power sector vs La Niña

    • By admin
    • July 17, 2024
    • 78 views
    House checks preparedness of power sector vs La Niña

    Pag- ban ng mga POGO sa Bulacan pinuri ni Gatchalian

    • By admin
    • July 16, 2024
    • 118 views
    Pag- ban ng mga POGO sa Bulacan pinuri ni Gatchalian

    NIA eyes solar power to maximize potential of Chico River Irrigation Project

    • By admin
    • July 16, 2024
    • 121 views
    NIA eyes solar power to maximize potential of Chico River Irrigation Project

    Marcos orders proper use, disposal of rainwater by making it clean, potable water source

    • By admin
    • July 16, 2024
    • 114 views
    Marcos orders proper use, disposal of rainwater by making it clean, potable water source

    Anti-Political Dynasty Bill inihain ni Padilla

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 116 views
    Anti-Political Dynasty Bill inihain ni Padilla

    Chinese man shot self during arrest, BI nabs 3 other murder suspects in Pampanga

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 142 views
    Chinese man shot self during arrest, BI nabs 3 other murder suspects in Pampanga

    Villar fetes Las Piñas’ home heroes

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 138 views
    Villar fetes Las Piñas’ home heroes

    14 Nigerians fraudsters arrested by BI

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 115 views
    14 Nigerians fraudsters arrested by BI

    Prices of commodities in Calabarzon recorded at 3.3% slightly lower in June

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 133 views
    Prices of commodities in Calabarzon recorded at 3.3% slightly lower in June

    Over P64-M aid benefits rolled out in Leyte caravan on its 2nd week

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 135 views
    Over P64-M aid benefits rolled out in Leyte caravan on its 2nd week

    Cayetano pushes for DOLE, DBM inclusion in Education Cabinet Cluster

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 241 views
    Cayetano pushes for DOLE, DBM inclusion in Education Cabinet Cluster

    Marcos sends well wishes to Trump

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 137 views
    Marcos sends well wishes to Trump

    Cayetano offers prayers for Trump after assassination attempt

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 127 views
    Cayetano offers prayers for Trump after assassination attempt

    P680K shabu declared as documents intercepted at NAIA

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 91 views
    P680K shabu declared as documents intercepted at NAIA

    Former President Trump sugatan sa assassination attempt

    • By admin
    • July 15, 2024
    • 143 views
    Former President Trump sugatan sa assassination attempt

    Bad jokes, toxic politics have no place in Bagong Pilipinas– Reyes

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 139 views
    Bad jokes, toxic politics have no place in Bagong Pilipinas– Reyes

    Enhanced Rizal Program iginiit sa senado na paigtingin sa basic education curriculum

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 116 views
    Enhanced Rizal Program iginiit sa senado na paigtingin sa basic education curriculum

    Rep Villar: ‘Adulting is difficult, never give up’ 

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 130 views
    Rep Villar: ‘Adulting is difficult, never give up’ 

    Sports journalist na si Chino Trinidad , pumanaw sa edad na 56

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 126 views
    Sports journalist na si Chino Trinidad , pumanaw sa edad na 56

    Romualdez sets House top priority to pass 2025 national budget

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 185 views
    Romualdez sets House top priority to pass 2025 national budget

    Ex-Zamboanga Del Norte Gov., others face charges over alleged P900 million illegal donations 

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 239 views
    Ex-Zamboanga Del Norte Gov., others face charges over alleged P900 million illegal donations 

    Honasan calls for military hospital ships in AFP modernization program

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 156 views
    Honasan calls for military hospital ships in AFP modernization program

    Barbers: Drug reform law key in drug war

    • By admin
    • July 14, 2024
    • 158 views
    Barbers: Drug reform law key in drug war